Friday, November 20, 2009

October '09

I always attempt to compose these monthly posts as things come up throughout the month, and alas, I always find myself halfway through the following month trying to recall things that Alex was doing weeks and weeks before. Thus, I only have about a quarter of the info I wanted to share about last month...However, I do have quite a few pictures from October, not including any of the ones from the five Halloween events I've already blogged about. That's gotta count for something...

Favorite phrases:

"I need...please!!" This phrase has been both a blessing at a curse. A blessing because it generally replaces whining as his main means for getting something he wants. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. Although we need to work with him on the distinction between "needs" and "wants" because right now, everything is a necessity.
"[Murphy] is making noise!"
"Where's [Murphy] go? Oh there [he] is!"
"Murphy goes poop outside in the grass!"

Favorite food(s): butter (alone or on something, doesn't matter), chicken, panpakes (aka pancakes)

Things that we love about Alex:

How he adds an "S" to things that are already plural. For example, when he wants to color, he might ask, "Mom, where'd papers go?" or he'll ask me to "turn waters on", or my personal favorite, whenever he refers to people he doesn't know, he calls them "peoples". Like if we have friends over and they leave, he'll ask, "Mom, where'd peoples go?" or if he hears someone talking in the distance, he'll say, "Hear that?! Peoples are talkin'!"

When he mispronounces something and I correct him, he'll repeat what I say and affirm it with a "right", as if to say, "right, that's what I said." For example:

A: "Mommy, [Alex] do paterpillar puzzle!"
Me: "You want to do the caterpillar puzzle?"
A: "Yeah, the paterpillar puzzle, right."

When he doesn't want to do something that I ask him to do, he'll say it's "Mommy's turn!"

When I go in and get him in the morning, and he greets me with some random piece of information, like, "A horsey makes the sound, 'neeeeigggghhhhhh!!!!!!!'", as if he'd been thinking about it while he was lying in bed and couldn't wait to tell me.

We spent a lot of October outside, enjoying the fall weather. At MDO, they take nature walks around the church whenever the weather permits, and Alex has since become fascinated by acorns. An acorn sighting is comparable to an Elvis sighting as far as Alex is concerned.

On this particular afternoon, I had dropped my lens cover and it landed on what I thought was a caterpillar. I asked Alex to hand it to me and he about jumped out of his skin when he saw what was underneath. I about peed my pants from laughing at Alex's reaction, and once I had regained my composure, we took a closer look. Upon further inspection, what I thought was a caterpillar seemed to be some weird cocoon of some sort, green with "eyes" and a creepy spike on its hiney. I know little to nothing about bugs and such, but what I do know is that it didn't move when I poked at it with a stick, and the next day it had disappeared from the driveway. Looking at pictures of it still freaks me out.

Second only to acorns is frozen yogurt from iheartyogurt, which Alex insists must be eaten outside, regardless of the temperature.

On the not-so-nice days when we are stuck inside, we try to stay busy playing games or reading or doing puzzles.

In addition to vehicles and acorns, Alex was obsessed with pumpkins this month. To this day, if he spies a pumpkin out of the car window, he shrieks, "I see a pumpkin!!!!" then proceeds to ask - repeatedly - for "One more pumpkin, please!!" as if I can make pumpkins materialize out of thin air. Which obviously I can. Because I'm a mom and am equipped to perform such miracles. And I am just sick about the fact that we didn't make it to the Arboretum this year to see the pumpkins - in fact, we never made it to a single pumpkin patch and ended up buying Alex's pumpkin from the grocery store. Uggh, the shame...

Anyway, pumpkin carving was a total bust this year - Alex took one look at the slimy pumpkin guts and was all, "You want me to do what??". He then said, "Mommy's turn!" and moved just out of arm's reach but close enough that he could watch Mom butcher that poor piece of produce. It was a pretty pathetic effort, let me tell ya. I was this close to borrowing some of Mr. Potato Head parts to give my pumpkin a face, a thought which occurred to me after I had already disemboweled the stupid thing. Note to self: You don't enjoy carving pumpkins. Next year, that's Daddy's job. (Camo 'do-rag courtesy of Grammy and Poppa.)

Bathtime has become a ten-hour ordeal because I can never get A to get out willingly - I usually end up draining the water and letting him play until he freezes and wants to get his jammies on. However, he tends to ham it up while in the tub and I usually get some funny pictures.

His happy face...

...mad face...

...serious face...

...sad face...

...and the aforementioned "poker face", which originated when we were listening to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" in the car and asked Alex to show us his poker face. His response:

I don't know what face this is...maybe his "Alex Attitude" face? That pretty much sums up this month, I think...


Every year for Halloween, our church does Trunk-r-Treat, where church folks volunteer to dress up their vehicles (and themselves) and distribute candy to the church kids out of their trunks. They block off the street behind the church and have all kinds of other events: a petting zoo with a cow, goats, sheep, and a Shetland pony; a firetruck that the kids could sit in; a fire eater/spitter/juggler; a stilt walker with a broken arm (don't try this at home, kids); pony rides; other assorted games and entertainment.

These days, we are at the church 5 days out of 7 every week - MOPS on Monday mornings, Mother's Day Out on Tuesdays and Fridays, choir on Wednesday nights, and church on Sundays, so needless to say, we ran into lots of familiar faces. Here's Alex introducing his horse (aka "Horsie") to his friend, Firefighter Cooper, Dallas FD.

We also ran into Fairy Princess Charlotte, where Alex proceeded to demonstrate why cowboys always wear hats.

Alex's friend Jaron was there, too, doing his best Tigger impression.

Once he was done socializing, we made our way down to the petting zoo. It only made sense that the cowboy should start his day by checking on the cows.

Once he was satisfied that the cows were A-ok, we moved onto the fire truck. To say that Alex is "obsessed" with vehicles would be quite the understatement. This child spends 95% of his day talking about trains, excavators, dump trucks, fire trucks, airplanes - you name it. Well, to be fair, he could care less about a mini van or a station wagon or a VW bug. But anything else is pretty much fair game. He points out every Mack truck, school bus, digger, garbage truck, and motorcycle that he can spot out the car window, and I find myself doing the same because he gets so excited. So he was pretty stoked when he saw the fire truck and found out that he got to sit in it, if only for the four seconds it took me to take the picture.

From there, we moved on to the "treat" portion of Trunk-r-Treat, starting with what ended up being Alex's favorite treat of the day - an apple. Yes, an apple. He was more excited about that apple than any of the lollipops, candy bars, fruit snacks, or Tootsie Rolls that ended up in his bucket.

His next plan of action? To stop and shoot the breeze with the cute cowgirls, of course.

From there, A helped his fellow cowpokes hammer them nails into that there two-bah-four.

Then off to do a little fishin'.

And finally, la pièce de résistance - the pony rides. I mean, is there a more appropriate way for a cowboy to end his day than to ride off into the sunset? This would be Alex's very first time on a horse, and while he was very excited as we waited in line, we were anxious to see how he would react once he actually got up on one of those big hairy beasts.

Like any good cowboy, he was a natural. He looked a little surprised right when the horses started to move, but was grinning ear-to-ear within seconds.

Timothy walked alongside him, just close enough to catch him if the horse decided to bail but far enough that A was riding completely on his own.

He loved every second of the ride and totally lived up to his costume.

As expected, he was less than thrilled that we made him get off at the end of the ride. We told him that if he wanted to wait in line again, then he could have another ride. He agreed, so we got back in line, he munched on his apple to pass the time, and finally got back on his horse.

By this time, things were winding down and they were starting to move the horses into their trailers. So A gave his horse a nice pet goodbye, and we headed home.

We considered this to the Main Event this Halloween, so other than some Halloween festivities at Tim's office the following weekend, this pretty much ended Halloween for us this year. I think it's just going to get more exciting each year, although I'm already dreading the inevitably dreadful costume requests that A will start to throw at me once he realizes that he has a choice in such matters. Hopefully he'll never come to that realization...a mom can dream...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Texas State Fair '09

I can't believe I'm just now getting to this post because it feels like it's been an eternity since this happened...I suppose I should be getting used to that feeling by now...

Anyway, in late October, Bill, Vicki, Mamaw Meador, Chris, and Leah came to Dallas to go with us to the State Fair. Alex gets totally giddy when family is around, and this was no exception.

He was especially excited when Auntie L let him watch Thomas movies on her iPhone....

...and now I can't use my phone in front of him without him yelling, "Watch Thomas movie, please!!"

We went to lunch that morning and then stopped at iheartyogurt for dessert, where we always have to drag A away from the "drums" outside.

After naptime, we got ready for the fair. Parking at the fair is always a bit of a beast, made worse by the fact that there was also an OU v. Texas game going on at the fairgrounds this year, so we decided to park downtown and take the train to Fair Park. Aside from it being practical, we knew A would be psyched about getting to ride the train. And he was.

Alex volunteered to entertain us during the stops with his "funny faces".

We got to the fair and headed to the Kidway to find Alex-appropriate rides, and we decided to start with this hot air balloon ride (think teacups where the teacups have been replaced by hot air balloons). Grammy was the fearless volunteer who agreed to ride with him.

I was so sure that he would love the rides like he did at Six Flags, but I think maybe we should have warmed him up on something a little more tame because he was not feeling the hot air balloons. Their balloon wasn't even spinning and Alex was completely green around the gills. Case in point.

However, when he was done riding, he was super-excited and wanted to ride something else (when I asked him if he wanted to ride the balloons again, I got an adamant, "No thanks!").

So off we went to find something else. We ended up at the bumper cars, which I thought A would love. I mean, cars and bumping into things - if this ride didn't suit Alex perfectly, then nothing would. The minimum height was only 30 inches, so A was more than qualified, and they had a bunch of guys standing around to help out if any of the kids couldn't get their cars moving.

The first time someone bumped into A, he was all, "excuuuuuuuse you!!", but when he realized that the whole point was to bump into people, he was all about it. He kept his car moving a lot more than I thought he would, although he did need to be nudged a couple of times. I'm not sure who had a better time - Alex or those of us watching Alex (re: the background of the pictures above).

Next, we visited the petting zoo and A checked out the monster truck display with Grammy.

We took the train back home and hit the hay, another state fair under our belt.